At this point, it's almost hard to remember a time when face coverings weren't required in most public spaces. And as the COVID-19 pandemic continues on, the mandatory mask rules at many grocery stores, restaurants, and airports are likely to continue for some time. It's been difficult for all, but especially those who are hard of hearing and rely on lip reading to communicate. But finally, nearly six months into the outbreak, a solution has been introduced: transparent masks!
Transparent masks, or window masks, have blown up on the internet over the past few weeks. They're worn just like the regular cloth masks we've become so familiar with since March — the only difference is there's a clear patch of vinyl over the mouth area. This comes in handy when visiting with elderly relatives and other people who have an easier time chatting when they can see others' mouths moving. Here, we've rounded up the best transparent masks available, from Amazon to Etsy and beyond.
Related: The Best Face Masks for Kids
These window masks from EvaFAST not only come in dozens of eye-catching designs, but they also offer extra comfort for all-day wear. Made with breathable material and adjustable ear straps for sensitive skin, these masks are built to go the distance. The best part? They come in packs of five.
To buy: amazon.com, $14 for 5
Searching for a more subtle look this fall? These colorful gingham transparent masks are simple, fun, and effective. Designed with a slightly triangular window, these masks allow more of the wearer's mouth to be visible at all times, whether it's open or closed. The brand notes that mild fogging is normal, but a few drops of anti-fog should clear it right up.
To buy: amazon.com, $15 for 4
Made with care to fit just right, these multi-layer masks are some of the top-selling face coverings on Etsy. Reviewers rave about the masks' high quality cotton, vinyl, and elastic, and many have returned to purchase more.
To buy: etsy.com , $12
These masks found on Etsy take things one step further with an entirely transparent design. Once secured on your face, you'll notice there's ample space inside the mask for extra comfort, yet the anti-fog vinyl fits snugly to prevent germs from getting in or out.
To buy: etsy.com , from $17
Whether your work place requires an eye shield or you simply choose to wear one when you're out and about, this breathable option delivers. Comfy enough to wear for hours at a time and effective enough to communicate with people of all ages and abilities, you and your loved ones will all be thankful for this mask.
To buy: etsy.com , $15
If you couldn't be bothered with fancy face coverings, go for this basic-yet-comfy window mask from Xiaojmake. It's everything you could ever want from a transparent mask — snug, breathable, and adorned with adjustable straps. Five masks come in each pack, and you can pick a different solid color or subtle print if you decide to be fancy after all.
To buy: amazon.com, $15
And of course, the kiddos get their own transparent masks, too! Baby Jack is known for producing fun sensory toys and blankets for little ones, and now, they've become one of the first companies to manufacture miniature "smile window" masks that fit perfectly on toddlers and older children alike — and who could resist fun patterns like jungle animals, unicorns, and space?
To buy: babyjackandcompany.com, $10
Hillary Maglin is a digital ecommerce editor who splits most of her time between New York City and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You can find her on Instagram @hillarymaglin, where her DMs are always open to discuss travel gear, wine bars, and Taylor Swift’s latest record.
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